Murtle Lake Area (Wells Gray Provincial) Sept 11 to 17 - ClubTread Community

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post #1 of (permalink) Old 09-20-2016, 10:00 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Burnaby, BC, Canada.
Interest: What can I say, I love the outdoors. Backpacking, canoeing, hiking, fishing, a little cycling and so on and so on.
Posts: 668
Default Murtle Lake Area (Wells Gray Provincial Park) Sept 11 to 17

Six of us in 3 canoes spent a glorious week last week during that dry spell getting real lucky in that regard. It had rained the entire week previously right up until the day before we departed the city on Sunday. Day 1 was mostly a travel day with some portaging then canoeing to Murtle Lagoon north where we spent a very cold evening (-5 give or take) around the campfire. Woke Monday morning to an incredible low cloud array of different levels that soon burned off completely once the frost layer everywhere begin to thaw out. Even the sand was frozen. Forgot to mention that on the way in 10 minutes along the fsr we startled a younger grizzly grazing on the roadside who scampered away up the hillside before we could get a picture or two. Then 2 minutes later a porcupine was spotted waddling right up the gravel road while we followed. Here we did get a photo or two. Anyhow day 2 was a quick paddle to Strait Creek campground where two of our party setup camp whilst the rest (4) organized our backpacks for the planned overnighter on Wavy Crest ridge at 6800ft. overlooking the lakes and within multiple peak bagging opportunity's in the alpine. The sunset was spectacular to say the least and the morning equally fantastic to wake to a inversion layer entirely enshrouding Murtle Lake then Strait Lake as well. Wavy Crest Peak was chosen as our peak for the day at around 7850ft according to my altimeter. The views were outstanding seeing both Mt. Robson and Assiniboine from our Vantage point. Actually could see well into Alberta's vast mountain ranges too. Was completely clear visibility this day and really for most of the week. There's a lake at Wavy Crest's base that was amazingly clear and was actually hard to spot at first because of it's reflective quality due to it being dead calm as well. Then back to ridge camp and down to base camp where we rejoined the other two of our party who spent the day fishing and generally lounging around. Also, of note was that the Kokannee were spawning at both creeks at either end of the sandy beach camping area. An added bonus. A few eagles and osprey's were taking full advantage of this natural wonder taking place. Fun to see. Day 3 was to paddle diagonally across the north arm into the west arm and hopefully secure a basecamp on Leo Island which we did sharing with one other group of four. An awesome little island with a sandy spit projecting outward for a couple hundred feet or so. Have to say that Fairyslipper Island is the gem though as far as islands go but unfortunately camping there is forbidden by Parks Canada. A sandy paradise in the middle of the lake. Anyhow this is when the fishing and the swimming began in earnest from Leo Island over the next 3 days. The fishing was quite good and the fresh rainbows were delish! From the island we also day hiked Central Peak one day and down to McDougal Falls the next and final full day at Murtle. Friday was the only half day we had any precip which was ok since our intrepid group of adventurers were departing lovely Leo for a last night back at Murtle Lagoon north where it would be a quick 25 minute paddle back to the landing where it was time to say goodbye to Wells Gray. We all pretty much agreed that another visit was in order sometime in the future. Probably the north arm which we are told has much more spectacular scenery with the larger sharper peaked mountains of the Caribou Range to ogle. Also, seems to have less human visitors in that direction. Not that the lake is crowded. Only counted 14 canoe/kayak carts locked to the cable when we put in at the landing. Have to say overall other then the noisy loons and owls, the occasional wolves howling in the distance as well as either a moose or elk bugling across the lake, this had to be the most peaceful quite place I've ever been. I highly recommend visiting Murtle Lake to all those that haven't been who enjoy slowing life down a bit and re-gathering your wits and just distressing in general. I'll be back.
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Every journey begins with one small step.

Last edited by sidetrip; 09-20-2016 at 10:23 PM. Reason: Photo's
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 09-21-2016, 12:29 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 36

Murtle Lake is so magical. The first day, we saw so many loons. I think Andrew had his fix for the year of loons and canoeing. LOL
I love how quiet it is there. My highlight is definitely doing the overnighter up at Wavy Crest Ridge.


Our "home" for the night up at Wavy Crest Ridge.

That's Strait Lake down below of the Ridge.

First short scramble toward Wavy Peak

Beautiful tarn below Wavy Peak.

Our hike up to Central Mountain. Looking from the top, you can see the sandy beach of Tropicanna Campsite

Andrew made a friend
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Last edited by HelenL; 09-21-2016 at 12:40 AM.
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 09-21-2016, 11:35 AM
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: BC, Canada.
Posts: 1,586

Very nice! I've wanted to check out Murtle for ages. Did you use that big fancy Wells Gray guidebook to help plan? That's a great resource.

(Yo sidetrip... have you considered using paragraphs?)
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 09-21-2016, 12:01 PM Thread Starter
Off the Beaten Path
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Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Burnaby, BC, Canada.
Interest: What can I say, I love the outdoors. Backpacking, canoeing, hiking, fishing, a little cycling and so on and so on.
Posts: 668

It is a paragraph. A verrrry lonnnng paragraph.

Didn't know about the Wells Gray guide book so just muddled about like usual looking for info.

Every journey begins with one small step.
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